Ten tips I wish I knew when I was a job-seeking graduate

It’s graduation ceremony time. And you graduate students are all shitting yourself. I can tell, as the amount of searches containing the word ‘internship’ that have led you to this blog have quadrupled just this week. You are not alone.

If you’ve graduated this year, Congradulations! You are now about to move from degree land to join the world of work. A career is a fish that is hard to catch, and it’s a slips from your grasp once you think you’ve got the hang of it. It’s not as demoralising and degrading as the movies sell it, but you can kiss good-bye to that personal freedom that you didn’t even know existed until you chucked it in the air with your graduation cap. But hey, at least you can start reading for pleasure again!

I was in your shoes last year, and here’s my advice. This time last year I was shitting myself about job-searching too, and even went as far to ask if the university system was failing graduates.

  1. Gutted about your grade? No-one will ever ask you what you got. Except for academics and snobs. Similarly, no-one will care what your degree is in, until you get to 30 and start thinking about an MA. Except for academics and snobs.
  2. If you havn’t had/got an internship by now… It’s time to stop being picky. Or start looking. Or start volunteering. Or start packing.
  3. Don’t expect your first internship to lead to paid work. Most people have to embark on three before they’ve gained enough experience to gain paid work. The secret though is to make yourself indispensable.
  4. The perfect job won’t be around the corner waiting for you. Finding your first role can take anything up to a year. Your first job won’t be perfect either. It takes a decade of discovery to know what you really want to do in life. Don’t lose heart.
  5. If you are skint, there is no shame in moving home to save cash. But set yourself a move out deadline before you kill your parents.
  6. There is also no shame in getting a stop-gap job. It’s cash, more skills to your bow and most importantly, not forever.
  7. If you want to go travelling, do it. If you want to do another course, do it. But if you are doing either if those just to delay the inevitable, don’t.
  8. If you are thinking of staying in your uni town, think back to those lonely summers. Student magic doesn’t last forever once your friends depart.
  9. With the friends that are left, surround yourself with those in the same boat as you. Distance yourself the gloating or whiny ‘friends’ that you shared at uni that will only serve to depress you. Fuck it… UNFRIEND THEM.
  10. And yes… you looked very stupid in that hat. It’s a look only a mother could love. But you will forget about it. Until next year.
01/08/11 Update: Guardian careers has featured this post in their weekly Grad links. Thanks 🙂
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3 thoughts on “Ten tips I wish I knew when I was a job-seeking graduate

  1. Look how cool we looked – we knew the score.

  2. Pingback: Great Links for Graduates « Appointments Bi Language

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